About This Artwork

Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926

The Beach at Sainte-Adresse, 1867

Oil on canvas
75.8 x 102.5 cm (29 13/16 x 40 5/16 in.)
Inscribed, lower right: Claude Monet 67

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection, 1933.439

Wildenstein, Claude Monet, biographie et catalogue raisonné, 1979 92

This work is featured in the online catalogue Monet Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, the first volume in the Art Institute’s scholarly digital series on the Impressionist circle. The catalogue offers in-depth curatorial and technical entries on 47 artworks by Claude Monet in museum’s collection; entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, previously unpublished technical photographs, archival materials, and documentation relating to each artwork.

Claude Monet spent most of his childhood and adolescent years in Normandy, absorbing its picturesque coastal sites, villages, and vantage points. The region changed dramatically over the course of the nineteenth century, due in large part to the expanded rail network and the proliferation of travel guidebooks. Waterfront locales like Sainte-Adresse, which were once small, rural fishing villages, rapidly became beach resorts for tourists and vacationers.

In the summer of 1867, Monet painted a number of works en plein air at Sainte-Adresse, including the Art Institute's Beach at Sainte-Adresse and its possible pendant, Regatta at Sainte-Adresse (1867; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Although there is no evidence that he wanted to exhibit or sell these paintings as a pair, they are similar in size and depict the same stretch of beach from approximately the same viewpoint. Both reference the coexistence of local and tourist life at Sainte-Adresse; however, the Art Institute's overcast scene shows the beach at low tide, dominated by native fisherfolk and their dark-sailed working boats, while the Metropolitan Museum's features urban tourists and white-sailed leisure yachts on a sunny day at high tide.

Monet may not have originally intended to foreground local fishermen and their crafts in the Chicago painting. Infrared and X-ray images reveal that, in an earlier stage, he included three well-dressed tourists along the shoreline and a number of white-sailed pleasure boats in the water at right. Subsequently painting out these indicators of the leisure class and replacing them with three fishermen and their beached boats at left, the artist complicated the meaning of this work and, more significantly, the dialogue it shares with the New York picture. Though he may have begun these paintings as experiments in documenting the same subject under changing meteorological conditions, Monet deliberately revised the Art Institute's canvas, possibly in an attempt to speak to the complex social and physical transformations taking place in Sainte-Adresse at this time.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, 2e Exposition de Peinture, April 1876, cat. 151 (reprint of cat. in L. Venturi, Les Archives de l’Impressionisme vol.2, 1939, p. 257).

Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Monet-Rodin, 1889, cat. 5.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Exhibition of Mrs. L. L. Coburn Collection: Modern Paintings and Watercolors, 1932, cat. 19 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1-November 1, 1933, cat. 292.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1-November 1, 1934,, cat. 210.

St. Louis, Missouri, City Museum of Art, Exhibition of French Impressionism From 1860-1880, April-May 1934, no cat.

Toledo, Ohio, Museum of Art, French Impressionists and Post Impressionists, November 1934, cat. 8.

Kansas City, Missouri, The William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, French Impressionist Landscape Painting, December 1936-January 1937, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Masterpiece of the Month, July 1945, no cat.

Zurich, Switzerland, Kunsthaus, Claude Monet, May 10 – June 1, 1952, cat. 104 (ill.), traveled to Paris, Galerie Wildenstein, June 5, 1952 and the Hague, Gemeente Museum , July 24 – September 22, 1952, cat. 9, ill.

St. Louis, Missouri, City Art Museum, Claude Monet, September 25- October 22, 1957, cat. 4 (ill.).

San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Painters by the Sea, July 1-July 30, 1961, traveled to Santa Barbara Museum of Art, August 8-September 3, 1961.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Monet, March 15- May 11, 1975, cat. 10 (ill.).

Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Hommage á Monet (1840-1926), February 8-May 5, 1980, cat. 16 bis (ill.).

Albi, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Trésors impressionistes du Musée de Chicago, June 27- August 31, 1980, cat. 9 (ill.).

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, A Day in the Country: Impressionism and the French Landscape, June 28-September 16, 1984, cat. 6 (ill.), traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, October 23, 1984-January 6, 1985 and Paris, Galeries nationales d’Exposition du Grand Palais, February 8-April 22, 1985.

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, The New Painting: Impression 1874-1886, January 17-April 6, 1986, cat. 31 (ill.), traveled to Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, M. H. Memorial Museum, April 19-July 6, 1986.

Leningrad, Hermitage and Moscow, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, From Delacroix to Matisse: Great French Paintings From the XIX century to the Beginning of the XXth century From Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago, 1988, cat. 27 (ill).

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Origins of Impressionism, September 19, 1944-January 8, 1995, cat. 136 (ill.), traveled to Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, April 19-August 8, 1994.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Claude Monet 1840-1926, July 22-November 26, 1995, cat. 12 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, Manet and the Sea, October 20, 2003-January 19, 2004, cat. 97 (ill.), travelled to Philadelphia Museum of Art, February 15-May 30, 2004 and Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, June 18-September 26, 2004.

Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Monet in Normandy, June 17, 2006-September 17, 2006, cat. 5 (ill.), traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, October 15, 2006-January 14, 2007 and Cleveland Museum of Art, February 18-May 20, 2007; shown in Cleveland only.

London, Royal Academy of Arts, Impressionists by the Sea, July 7-September 30, 2007, cat. 32 (ill.), travelled to Washington, DC, The Phillips Collection, October 20, 2007-January 13, 2008 and Hartford, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, February 9-May 11, 2008.

Paris, Galeries Nationales, Grand Palais, Claude Monet 1840-1926, September 22, 2010- January 24, 2011, cat. 16.

Publication History

E. Blémont, “Les impressionnistes,” Le Rappel (April 9, 1876), p. 3.

A. Baignières, “Exposition de peinture,” Le Echo (April 13, 1876), p. 3.

G. Rivière, in L’Esprit moderne (April 13, 1876), pp. 7-8.

P. Dax, “Chronique,” L’Artiste (May 1876), p. 348.

Gustave Geffroy, “Claude Monet,” L’Art et les Artistes, 2 (November 1920), p. 64 (ill.).

Gustave Geffroy, Claude Monet (Paris, 1922), p. 40 (ill. opposite page).

C. Mauclair, Claude Monet (Paris, 1927), pp. 36, 60, pl.6.

X. Lathom, Claude Monet (London, 1931), pl. 6.

D. C. Rich, “The Bequest of Mrs. L. L. Coburn,” The Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin 26 (1932), pp. 66, 67 (ill.).

“Masterpieces of the French Impressionists from the Collection of Mrs. L. L. Coburn,” The Fine Arts 19 (June 1932), p. 22 (ill.).

R. Brielle, “Le Visage de las France Vue Par Nos Artistes, III–La Normandie,” L’ Art et les Artistes 28, 1934, pp. 129 (ill.), 130.

Kansas City, Nelson Gallery of Art News Flashes 3 (December 1936), pp.1-2.

Lionello Venturi, Les Archives de l’Impressionisme vol. 2 (Paris, 1939), p. 257.

The Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1945), p. 36 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, Masterpiece of the Month (July 1945), pp. 111-113.

John Rewald, The History of Impressionism, The New York Museum of Modern Art, (New York, 1946), p. 137, (ill.).

Sir Kenneth Clark, Landscape into Art (London, 1949), pp. 88, 89, pl. 81 (ill.).

D.C. Rich, “Midwest Art Capitol,” Town and Country (March 1951), p. 75, (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Guide to the Collections (Chicago, 1956), p. 34.

The Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly 51, 2 (April 1957), p. 22 (ill.).

William Seitz, Claude Monet (New York, 1960), p. 74 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings of The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of A Picture Colleciton (Chicago, 1961), p. 318.

Frederick, A. Sweet, “Great Chicago Collectors,” Apollo 84 (September 1966), pp. 203, 201, fig. 32.

The WFMT Guide (November 1966), ill.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (New York, 1970), pp. 80 (ill.), 81, 284.

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné vol. 1 (Paris, 1974), no. 92 (ill.).

Mike Samuels and Nancy Samuels, See with the Mind’s Eye: the History, Technique and Uses of Visualization (New York, 1975), p. 70 (ill.)

The Art Institute of Chicago, 100 Masterpieces (Chicago, 1978), pp. 90-91, (ill.).

Roger Terry Dunn, “The Monet-Rodin Exhibition at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1889,” Ph.D. diss. (Evanstone, Northwestern University, 1978), p. 246.

Gaëton Picon, The Birth of Modern Painting (Geneva, 1978), ill.

Brian Petrie, Claude Monet: The First Impressionists (Oxford, 1979), pp. 31-33, no. 26 (ill.).

John House, New Zealand, Claude Monet, Painter of Light, exh. cat. (Auckland City Art Gallery, 1985), p. 12, fig. 3.

Diane Kelder, The Great Book of French Impressionism (New York, 1980), p. 182 (ill.).

Richard Brettell, French Impressionists (New York, 1987), pp.10 (det. ill.), 11, 12 (ill.), 118.

Robert L. Herbert, Impression Art, Leisure and Parisian Society (New Haven, 1988), p. 289 (ill.), 290.

Robert L. Herbert, Monet on the Normandy Coast: Tourism and Painting, 1867-1886 (New Haven and London, 1994), pp. 10-11, 12 (ill.).

Andrew Forge, Monet (Chicago, 1995), p. 12, pl. 2.

John House, Landscapes of France: Impressionism and Its Rivals exh. cat. (London, Hayward Gallery, 1995), p. 15, fig, 1.

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné vol. 2 (Cologne, 1996), no. 92 (ill.).

House, John. 2010. “Social Reality versus the Thrall of Convention: The French Nineteenth Century Landscape.” In From Corot to Monet: The Ecology of Impressionism. Exh. cat., pp. 37. Skira.

Zimmerman, Michael F. 2010. “Radical Alienation – Radical Involvement: a Brief History of Subjectivity and Landscape up to Impressionism.” In From Corot to Monet: The Ecology of Impressionism. Exh. cat., pp. 114, 115. Skira.

Mary Mathews Gedo, “Painted Metaphors for the Absent Woman,” Monet and His Muse: Camille Monet in the Artists Life, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010. p. 70, fig. 4.4.

Claude Monet 1840-1926, Exh. cat. (Musée d’Orsay), cat. 16.

Ownership History

Bought from the artist by Durand-Ruel, Paris on February 28, 1873, as Marine temps gris; sold to Jean-Baptiste Faure, Paris by 1876 [see Paris 1876 and Paris 1889]; sold to Durand-Ruel for 7,000 francs on January 9, 1893 [Durand-Ruel stock no. 2585]; sold to Henri Véver, Paris on January 17, 1893; his sale, Paris, Galeries Georges Petit, February 1-2, 1897, lot 79, sold for 9,000 francs to Boulley for Gustave Kahn, Paris. Durand-Ruel and Bernheim-Jeune, 1920 [according to Wildenstein 1996]. Mrs. Lewis (Annie Swan) Coburn (died 1932), Chicago, 1923 [according to Wildenstein 1996]; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1933.

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